SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. It’s taken 20 months, but construction partners with the Georgia DOT will open the South Cherokee Road Bridge over the CSX Railroad to traffic on Monday, Oct. 7. The official ribbon cutting of the bridge took place at 4 p.m. on Sunday and the first vehicles, golf carts carrying the Social Circle mayor and dignitaries, crossed the new bridge. Crews will begin in the morning removing barrels in order to have the bridge opened to traffic by noon. The 129-foot bridge features an ornamental fence requested by the city that will provide a nice addition to the downtown atmosphere of Social Circle.
This new bridge is opening ahead of the original projected date of Oct. 31 when construction was first announced. The road was shut down in February 2018 for the $4.25 million construction of the 0.2-mile bridge and approaches to the City of Social Circle on South Cherokee Road (formerly SR 11) over CSX Railroad in Walton County. The construction was required because the existing 64-year-old bridge was in poor condition and inadequate for current needs. It was constructed in the existing location but raised slightly to achieve proper railroad clearances. The two travel lanes were widened and sidewalks added to connect to sidewalks along South Cherokee Road across the railroad.
At the time, Social Circle City Manager Adele Schirmer noted that the bridge was in the heart of the city’s Historic District and is the primary entrance to the historic downtown area. A detour via SR 11/Social Circle Bypass has been used during the time of construction. The project was completed by E.R. Snell Contractor, Inc. of Snellville, Ga.